The case of 'Who put Bella in the Wych-elm?' is infamous worldwide, having sparked the imagination of several generations. However never before has there been a feature length investigative documentary made which covers as much detail ( including facts and previously unseen photographs) as we hope ours will.
(still image from drone footage taken at Wychbury Hill and Obelisk)
WITCH, SPY, PROSTITUTE, SINGER, TRAPEEZE ARTIST, LOCAL GIRL, WIFE, MOTHER...
WHO WAS BELLA?
THIS IS A TRUE STORY THAT DESERVES OUR ATTENTION!
In 1943 four teenage boys discovered a womans skull hidden in a hollow elm tree in Hagley Wood, Stourbridge. The next day an almost complete skeleton was recovered...all but 1 hand, which had been removed and later found buried close by. No-one had reported her missing, no-one came forward claiming her as their own, not even a dental match could be made despite her distinctive teeth...it seemed that no-one knew the woman. However, she was wearing a wedding ring and the pathologist concluded she'd given birth at least once...so who was this tragic wife and mother?
For 75 years her identity, her reasons for being in Hagley Wood and her killer have remained a mystery. Cryptic graffiti messages began appearing on walls across the West Midlands giving her name as 'Bella'. The person responsible was never found, so who were they? and what did they know?
Conspiracy theories include murder by Witchcraft, a gypsy traveller feud and an espionage cover-up ordered by MI5. With modern DNA techniques we could simply re-examine her remains...however there is 1 further twist in this tale...
...the remains of 'Bella' have vanished. They were donated to Birmingham Medical School in the 1940s by the West Midlands Forensic Science Laboratory, and subsequently 'lost', along with her files...so what do you believe?
One thing is certain - interest in her case is as alive as ever.
My name is Jayne Harris and I have spent the last 2 years researching, filming, producing and editing this self-funded documentary with the help of some very kind people, who have given their time and expertise freely through pure passion and interest in the project.
Not only will this documentary cover a case of local historical importance, but as a story which is now attracting movie producers, writers and artists from around the world, we feel this informative and factual piece of film will ensure the actual details of this cold case are not lost in the mists of time!
We have uncovered some previously undisclosed facts about the investigation, potential victims and suspects through accessing declassified MI5 files, speaking with local people and those connected to the case but now overseas.
We will also be showing a series of police photographs, witness statements and forensic reports not widely available, combined with re-enactments, narration and interviews to bring these accounts to life!
We've interviewed various experts who have given us a fascinating insight into the realities of a war-time murder investigation and helped us delve deeper into the world of Witchcraft and its secretive practises.
In this film we aim to present viewers with an intriguing and thought-provoking experience, culminating in the exploration of the more supernatural elements to the story, in which we speak to local eye witnesses about their terrifying experiences with what they believe to be the ghost of 'Bella'.
These individuals have never shared their stories... until now.
Will our 2 year investigation solve this legendary mystery once and for all?
With your help, we will find out.
Why are we fund raising?
After 2 years of hard work we are now reaching the finish line. At this stage we need help to give the film what it truly deserves...professional sound editing and a final sprinkle of magic!
If we reach our target we will also be commissioning a memorial plaque dedicated not only to 'Bella' but to all those missing/unidentified souls lost in WW2, to be placed locally along with a symbolic tree planting ceremony to signify renewed life and hope.